Namibia :: South Namibia
:: Ai-Ais Area
Category: Activity :: Hiking
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Most sources cite the Fish River Canyon as the second largest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon in America. It certainly is one of Africa’s great natural wonders and the iconic five-day hike is rated among the top treks in the world.
A maximum of 30 hikers per day are allowed and because of extreme weather conditions the hike is only open between 1 May and 15 September. It may be closed during years of severe drought.
If you follow the river diligently, the route is about 90km but thanks to some scenic shortcuts you can hike it in 75,5km in total. Officially the distance is covered over five days and four nights. It is a tough hike as you have to carry everything that you will need to survive for five days (apart from water) and although the terrain is not technical, thick sand, boulder hopping and exposure to the elements make it quite challenging.
If you love sleeping under the stars, this hike is for you!
There is no marked trail in the upper sections and no official overnight stops. You have to find your own way, monitor your progress and decide where you want to camp for the night. Fortunately it is difficult to get lost between the majestic canyon walls, although hikers must be careful towards the end of the hike as the canyon widens. There are sufficient long stretches of beach that provide ideal camping spots and you could manage to pick up enough wood for a bonfire each night.
The route is not technical at all and is mostly quite flat. The initial descent, however, is slow and challenging for people with acrophobia, luckily aided by chains.
In June 2016 it was reported that the water level was still high enough for lunch time swims, and a wash at the end of each day and sufficient drinking water.
A approximate guide of how long and how far you could expect to walk each day:
Day 1: Total = 11,5km. Trek time (including tea and lunch stops) = 08h03min.
Day 2: Total = 17.4km. Trek time (including tea and lunch stops) = 08h16min.
Day 3: Total = 17.9km. Trek time (including tea and lunch stops) = 08h00min.
Day 4: Total = 18,8km. Trek time (including tea and lunch stops) = 08h34min.
Day 5: Total = 7.5km. Trek time (including tea and lunch stops) = 04h00min.
|Address :||South Namibia, Namibia|
|Postal :||Private Bag 13378, Windhoek 9000, Namibia|
|Contact :||Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR)|
|Contact 2 :||Ai-Ais Resort|
|Tel :||+264(0)61 285 7200|
|Tel2 :||+264(0)63 683 676|
|Fax :||+264(0)61 224 900|
|Email :||Click Here|
|Cellphone Reception :||Nothing|
|Payment Methods Accepted :||Cash|
|Game to View:||Steenbok. Springbok. Kudu. Klipspringer. Zebra and Leopards|
|Notes on Activities:||(Some activities may be offered nearby).|
Camping and chalets are available at Ai-Ais and camping at Hobas. (June 2016).
Minimum age allowed to do the hike is 12, but with the weight that hikers have to carry, it is not advisable.
Tracks4Africa GPS Map of Namibia is recommended.
You will need:
Medical clearance certificate, signed by your doctor. (Get it when you book the hike).
Conservation declaration form. (Get it when you book the hike).
Paper map of the hike.
You will have to supply your medical aid name and number when you sign in for the hike at Hobas camp.
A shuttle service is available between Ai-Ais (the end) and the starting point near Hobas. Booking is essential.
Make sure you have a good backpack, good hiking boots, a walking stick, sunhat, sunglasses, plenty of sunblock, good socks, good thermals for cold nights, head lamp, a small first aid kit etc.
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